16 November 2007

Uranium is a problem of discrimination: Hiroaki Kiode

K: You claim that: "The problem of nuclear power

plants is a problem of discrimination."

K: Most nuclear power plants ― the case of Onagawa is like this as well ― are built in sparsely populated areas with the aim of supplying power to large cities. In places, such as those in Australia and the U.S., where uranium is being dug up to power nuclear power plants, it is often the case that aboriginal people are the ones affected.

It is not well-known, but there were once uranium mines in Japan as well. In 1950 at a place called Ningyotoge in Okayama Prefecture a uranium deposit was discovered, but after 10 years they only managed to dig up 85 tons [of uranium]. The soil in that region is now contaminated, and the issue has gone to court.

g: Wherever you look, at various different places around the world, the industry of nuclear power is connected to discrimination. America, Australia, Canada... is there any kind of international solidarity movement connecting the victims suffering from various kinds of discrimination across the world?

K: I believe there are some loose connections, but there are close to none of these.

In various places, native populations are used as cheap labour, and on top of this their land is being contaminated. Even so, horizontal connections linking these kinds of victims across the world are not strong.


g: What is your outlook for the future?

K: From here on, my position will not change.

Compared to the history of this planet, the existence of humans is a very new thing.

The use of electric power only started after the industrial revolution, just 200 years ago.

If we don't change the way we think, there is no question that we will destroy ourselves.

Changing a way of thinking is also about how much you can recognize about other problems.

If you think about the problem of nuclear power,

you become aware of many other problems as well.

I think of the issue of nuclear power as grounds not for "opposition" (反対)

but for "resistance" (抵抗).

This is because, as I mentioned earlier,

the problem of nuclear power is a problem of discrimination.

Among the people in the movement against nuclear power plants,

there are many people who "break with nuclear power generation",

in other words they adopt a lifestyle which does not require nuclear power.

In its own way, I think that this is good.

However, I am thoroughly and absolutely resisting nuclear power.

n order not to be crushed by the government or large organizations,

it is necessary to resist.

I think that if people see that, of the entire world population,

one quarter of all humans are consuming nearly all of the world's energy,

and that, in Japan, as a result of nuclear power,

some people are suffering,

then I think that people's judgements and actions will change a bit.

~ Hiroaki Koide

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